Universal Head’s Arkham Horror Rules Summaries

A comment last week on the Arkham Horror expansion guide — already in need of updating, a need which will only grow in the coming months — reminded me of the time I first learned to play this byzantine game. My cousin very patiently sat on the living room floor with me, going through the motions of playing as I flipped back and forth through the rule book and a cheat sheet.

Universal Head’s cheat sheet for Arkham Horror reorganizes and condenses information in the official rule book in such a way that you can follow the turn order from start to finish without skipping from one section to a previous one to figure out what happens during the mythos phase.

Plus, it comes in multiple flavors: there’s the base game-only version, which is just what it sounds like. Then there’s the longer version that incorporates the many expansions and their new rule components.

I always keep a couple copies of the longer cheet sheat in my game boxes for when the opportunity to play Arkham Horror arises. If you’re new to the game, or find that not everyone you play with is catching on to the admittedly contorted turn structure, this may be just the remedy.

Greg Poehlein’s Adventure Outline Sheet

In the summer of 2009, during her Mags the Axe School of Gamemastering series on All Games Considered, the titular Mags mentioned an adventure outline she found useful in devising adventures that she picked up from a seminar course conducted by Guy McLimore and Poehlein at Gen Con in the early 1990s. It’s an adaptation of the kind of beat sheet television and film writers use to map out the rises and falls of a story.

I found it pretty useful last year writing Lurker in the Lobby and Highway to Niflheim. So I went to find the file tonight to help lay out the structure for my next two, only to fail to find it on my hard drive. Turns out I just wasn’t being clever enough about search terms, but that did send me off to the Nachtmedia community, where the PDF is still available for download. With the demise of many Ning networks, you can still find Greg’s outline available as a PDF at the top of All Games’ Considered‘s links for the original episode.

If you’re new to writing role-playing adventures or having a hard time getting started, a form like Greg’s is a great place to start. Filling in the blanks helps you not only order your thoughts, but see what elements you may not give due consideration.

Thanks again to Mags for doing the legwork to make this available to the general gaming public.

[Link to PDF amended 10/14/2010.]